Blog archive: Jordan

  • 26th April 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    "Mashrou' Leila are one of the most notable indie pop bands in the Middle East – and one of the most controversial. With a lead singer who is openly gay and lyrics sung in Arabic that satirise Lebanese society and politics, the band are overturning the status quo in Arab pop." – ...
  • 13th August 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Entrance to the University of Jordan in Amman A session of Jordan's parliament was suspended amid uproar on Tuesday as dozens of MPs demanded the sacking of Labib Khadra, the higher education minister. The MPs were accusing the government of trying to abolish an "exception" system...
  • 17th July 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    GNRD founder Loai Deeb: property purchases raise new questions Loai Deeb, founder-president of the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD), asked the deputy head of his Jordan office to find out about Jordanian money-laundering laws and whether they are enforced or not, the...
  • 19th November 2014
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Yesterday Queen Rania of Jordan spoke about "reclaiming the narrative" from religious militants. "It’s a fight for the future of Islam and the future of the Arab world," she said. Winning it, she added, "depends on our ability to conquer the philosophical battleground ... because at the...
  • 24th October 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Jordan is facing scrutiny at the UN Human Rights Council this morning under the periodic review system. Today's review is more important than usual because Jordan (
  • 2nd October 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    There's yet another twist in the story of Yahya Ababneh, the mystery journalist who reported claims that Saudi Arabia supplied chemical weapons to Syrian rebels. After more than a month's silence since the claims were published on an American "advocacy journalism" website, Ababneh has now...
  • 26th June 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Research by the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge University has discovered alarmingly high levels of support for 'honour' killings among Jordanian teenagers.  Such crimes are a particular problem in Jordan, where government efforts to discourage them have met stiff resistance from...
  • 8th June 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In the early 19th century the British government was anxious to keep newspapers out of the hands of the masses – and had a not-so-bright idea about how to do it. In 1815 it imposed a tax of four pence on every copy – a sum which in those days made newspapers unaffordable to all but the "...
  • 3rd June 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Yesterday marked the official launch in Jordan of Demoqrati – King Abdullah's latest initiative to promote "democratic empowerment and active citizenship". Describing the initiative in one of his periodic discussion papers as an effort to build "political engagement across...
  • 22nd March 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    As the White House caravan moves on from Israel and Palestine to Jordan, President Obama may feel he has reached more comfortable ground. King Abdullah II – as Jeffrey Goldberg pointed out this week in his fascinating profile of the Jordanian ruler – is "emotionally and dispositionally,...
  • 13th March 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, were in Jordan yesterday on the first full day of their Royal Solidarity Tour of Arab monarchies – and already it's embarrassing.  Officially, the nine-day trip which will also take in Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia is billed as a...
  • 10th March 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Prince Charles – heir to the British throne – is due to arrive in the Middle East on Monday for a nine-day "goodwill" visit to Arab monarchies. His tour will take in Jordan, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. These trips, which happen every few years, are usually a cue for the...

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